MANILA, Philippines – The website of Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) was inaccessible as of early Friday afternoon, August 12, after it barred the distribution of books that contain supposedly “anti-government” text in schools and public libraries.
A prompt “This Account has been suspended” is displayed on the page whenever one accesses their website. Rappler was able to visit the page late Thursday night, August 11.
By 5:30 pm on Friday, the KWF website was accessible again.
In a memorandum dated August 9, KWF commissioners Carmelita Abdurahman and Benjamin Mendillo Jr. ordered Sentro ng Wika at Kultura (SWK), one of KWF’s units, to cease printing the books they said contained “political, subversive and creative literary works with subliminal ideologies that encourage to fight the government.”
All SWK directors were ordered to refrain from distributing the books so that “we would not be accountable to Republic Act No. 11479, particularly Section 9 on inciting to commit to terrorism,” the memo read.
The books they alleged to be “subversive” are the following:
- Teatro Politikal Dos ni Malou Jacob
- Kalatas: Mga Kuwentong Bayan At Kuwentong Buhay ni Rommel B. Rodriguez
- Tawid-Diwa sa Pananagisag ni Bienvenido Lumbera: Ang Bayan, ang Manunulat, at ang Magasing Sagisag sa Imahinatibong Yugto ng Batas Militar 1975-1979 ni Dexter Cayanes
- May Hadlang ang Umaga ni Don Pagusara
- Labas: Mga Palabas sa Labas ng Sentro ni Ruel M. Agila
The order was made as the country celebrates Buwan ng Wika, or the national language month.
The memo was also released the same day three Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) hosts – including former National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) spokesperson Lorraine Badoy and a uniformed personnel – tagged the books written by Aguila, Rodriguez, Pagusara, Jacob, and Cayanes, and more than a dozen more books published by KWF as “subversive” because they cited references written by the Communist Party of the Philippines–New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
SMNI is the media network of preacher and US fugitive Apollo Quiboloy that disguises propaganda as news. Its platforms attack journalists and activists. Meanwhile, Badoy is facing a series of administrative and criminal complaints for her serial red-tagging. (READ: LIST: Complaints filed against red-tagger Lorraine Badoy)
In a Facebook post, KWF Chairperson Arthur Casanova defended the publication of those books, saying they went through a process of careful selection. – Rappler.com